How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?

The opportunity to succeed sometimes lies in the hands of others. This is just the reality of life. There are many people who are very intelligent and book smart. But academic studies have shown that emotional intelligence can be more indicative of success. Simply put, be a good peoples’ person.

We have to realize that there is no straight-forward path to success alone. There will be people involved. Every industry has gatekeepers. Sometimes we must befriend them, other times we must fight. And the sooner we accept this, the more successful we can become. But what if someone in a position of power wants you to fail?

Here’s my thoughts on how I would handle it.

The fact is there are corrupt people in positions of power. Some people are money hungry and selfish. Other corrupt people might just want to laugh at your misery. Maybe they’ll pass you on a promotion they know you deserve. Even worse what if someone in power frames you for a failure you didn’t have a part in.

These are just ideas that are top of mind. The list goes on though. Imagine a woman being put in a compromising position to advance in her career. These are all very real situations. I’ve never been in them but I know people have. And it’s a very difficult position to be in.

My mind immediately goes to two things when I think of this problem. One is work. Hard work is how you qualify yourself for pretty much anything in life. You have to put in the work. If someone in power was trying to see me fail, I would just work ten times harder. I would put in work that could not be ignored.

Ten times out of ten, other people will notice. My peers will praise me. They will give glowing reviews of the tens of extra hours I put in weekly. When my qualifications are so apparent no one can ignore it, it does two things. It helps discredit someone in power when they discredit me. And immediately, it opens up opportunities to new employers that would want me.

But there’s still something else I would do. I would make friends with people in power. Sometimes you have to fight power with power. And here’s the thing, I mean make allies with much more power. The people that could hold back or veto the person that is trying to inhibit me.

It’s the best thing I could do for myself. Some might say how would you make friends with these people with more power. If you did step one, and worked your ass off, your name will surely spread to people in power. Some might say but what if the person holding me back has no one above them. Everyone answers to somebody whether it’s the manager, GM, owner, founder, shareholders, or even customers.

That would be my move to this person in power. One king can’t beat a pawn and a king. Checkmate.

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